Archive for month: November, 2010

House

29 Nov
November 29, 2010

Josh was studying for his HSC and we had to head in to town to check out a college that he was applying to study at next year.  If  I go anywhere with Josh during the day, no matter morning or afternoon, “what’s for lunch” is a question that I can bet money on being asked.  To be honest I had factored it in for a bit of a study break for him and my answer as we got off the train at Central was “let’s walk and see what we discover”.

That was the plan, I had nowhere in mind for lunch and as we walked up Elizabeth Street towards Wentworth Avenue we stumbled upon House.  I had read about a restaurant called “House” and what I had read was all good, but to be honest, I wasn’t sure if this was the same “House”.

Being just before noon and a college tour around the corner at 12.45 we decided to go for it.  Once we sat down and perused the menu I realised  it was the same House I had read about and was pretty chuffed at our stumbling.

The cuisine at House is from the traditional area of Issan in North Eastern Thailand and is based on street food from that area.  Chef Sujet Saenkhan, of Spice I Am,  is behind the helm.

There is both an outdoor and indoor seating areas and as it was a gorgeous October day we decided on outside.

Josh has the Khao Moo Fod, fried garlic and pepper pork served with steamed rice, cucumber and house sauce.  Crispy coated tender pork with a chili hot “house” sauce.

I went for the Khao Bar Ped, roasted duck with steamed rice, cucumber, chou sum topped with roasted duck sauce.  The duck was very tender and flavoursome.  I loved the green chili which was served on the side.  This is where you excuse my ignorance, I have no idea what it was served with, I will say it was a mix of soy sauce and other, but oh wow was it addictive!  I scoffed the lot, every single chili piece was eaten.  Both meals were served with a light chicken broth.

We both decided we want an return visit with a few more people to be able to order a lot more dishes to taste.  The menu looked very interesting and from we saw and ate for lunch we are both pretty excited about discovering more.

Sara xxx

House on Urbanspoon

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BayBlu – Melbourne Cup Lunch

25 Nov
November 25, 2010

BayBlu is run by Sam and Jack Petrides, I regard them as old style restaurant hosts, you feel welcome and taken care of the moment you walk in the door.  I have eaten at BayBlu in the past and thought it was worth a try after the uncomfortable and unimpressive Melbourne Cup lunch last year at Summer Salt.

I love their location, you can sit anywhere in this restaurant and have a view of either Botany Bay or up the Georges River.  Even though the Princess Hwy is flowing fast out the front, BayBlu is location, location, location.  You actually don’t notice the hwy at all once you are inside.  There is even balcony seating out the back over the tranquil river to enjoy a lazy summer lunch.

I was very impressed with BayBlu and what they offered for their $75/head Melbourne Cup Lunch.  The food, the service and the atmosphere cannot be faulted.

The menu consisted of canapés  and a glass of sparkling white on arrival, a selection of garlic, parsley and mixed breads, a choice from 7 entrees, 6 mains (served with vegetables) and 7 desserts  To finish off there was coffee, tea, liqueur chocolates and biscotti.

Once seated our canapés and lucky door prized tickets were on the table waiting for us, shortly followed by a glass of sparkling white.  The canapés consisted of smoked salmon mouse on crisp toasts, mini spinach & feta filo pastries and deep fried crumbed prawns.  My favourite was the salmon but the prawns were pretty flavourless.

Josh and I both decided on the salt & pepper calamari for our entrees.  It was an extremely generous serve of tender calamari in a thin crispy coating, served on some mixed lettuce leaves and tomato.  It was accompanied by a wedge of lemon, but some sort of sauce would of gone nicely with it as well.  The only reason I say this is due to the large portion I needed something to break it up with.

Mum went for the new season mango and king prawn cocktail.  This I was slightly surprised with.  As you know prawn cocktails can be very hit and miss, prawns often looking very impressive with their heads and tails still on and after you have struggled at the table to de-shell them you really aren’t left with much.  I will admit when it first came out I was happy I didn’t choose it, that changed after I had a mouthful.  Three sweet and tender prawns that were very generous in size served simply with a cheek of flavoursome mango and some cocktail sauce.  Simple, fresh and showcasing Aussie produce well.

Mac went for the Tasmanian smoked salmon, lemon, capers and onion.  Again a dish that if not done well can fail miserably.  They did well! A generous serve of smoked salmon with condiments, the only down fall is that Mac would of liked a couple of more pieces of toast to go with it.

I was a little full by this time, we had eaten canapés, garlic and parsley bread which was generously topped up <sara stuffed herself>, plus the massive entrees.  Now for the mains…… again all very large servings.

Mum had the Atlantic salmon grilled with champagne butter.  Salmon was cooked perfectly with a nice crisp skin.

Josh had the flathead fillets deep fried in breadcrumbs, served with sweet chilli sauce.  The flathead came with chips and salad instead of vegies, the fish was incredibly moist.

I went for the veal medallions topped with prawns, asparagus and hollandaise.  A very big serving.  The veal was tender, prawns were cooked to perfection and the hollandaise very tasty with three fat spears of asparagus and vegetables.

Mac had the eye of beef with wood mushrooms and red wine jus.  He asked for medium rare and it was served as requested.  A big hunk of beef but very tender and tasty.

Before dessert it was time for the lucky door prize and to announce best dressed and best hats.  Our table was drawn first for the lucky door prize, go us!  Josh went up and had first choice of the prizes, he went for the wine pack, he does love his mum.

By the end of the prizes being given away not one table in the restaurant went without.  They were very clever this way.  After all major prizes were won the tables that hadn’t won anything were given a gift wrapped bottle of wine.  As I said, very clever, everyone were winners and felt special.

By the time dessert presented itself I was extremely full.  Both Josh and Mum went for the homemade tiramisu.  I am not a big fan of tiramisu as for me it often just resembles a bowl of glug.  This one still had some texture/bite to it and the coffee/ liqueur flavours just a right balance.

Mac had the chocolate fudge mousse, which actually turned out to be a rich and indulgent mousse cake.  Yes, I also had to have a taste of this and if you like chocolate you would love it.

I went for an old staple, sticky date and fig pudding with butterscotch sauce.  The thankfully not too dense pudding was served with a scoop of ice-cream and a couple of strawberries and hit the already bursting spot.

All in all we had a great Melbourne Cup lunch, good food, great company in a fun atmosphere.  Sadly I didn’t actually back the winner and my picks in the sweeps were fizzers as well, but a wonderful time was had anyway.

Sara xxx

Bayblu Seafood on Urbanspoon

Chefs Gallery

22 Nov
November 22, 2010

Ms Lily and I had been on one of our regular movie “dates” and I was prepared for the question of “are you hungry?  what do you want for dinner?”.  It was a case of follow me, no arguments, I have somewhere I really want to try.

So off we pranced around the corner from Event Cinemas in to Bathurst Street to the Chefs Gallery.

We didn’t have a booking and only had to wait a few minutes before we were offered a table or to sit at the bench where you can view the chefs cooking.  No detailed thought needed, guide us to the bench please. Read more →

Daring Cooks’ Challenge, November – Soufflés

17 Nov
November 17, 2010

Dave and Linda from Monkeyshines in the Kitchen chose Soufflés as our November 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge! Dave and Linda provided many of their own delicious recipes plus a sinfully decadent chocolate soufflé recipe adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s recipe found at the BBC Good Food website.

The word soufflé literally means “puffed up” in French.  The original soufflé was a basic hot soufflé which is started with a roux and was invented by the French in the late 18th Century.  Antoine Beauvilliers, it is believed, was making soufflés as early as 1782 even though he did not publish L’Art du Cusinier until 1814 (later published in  English as “The Art of French Cookery”).  Antoine Beuvilliers was a culinary master and we can thank him for opening the first “real” restaurant in Paris, he changed the way that people dined out.

I actually don’t think I have ever met anyone who does not love, or at least likes, a soufflé.  I know I adore them.  So light and full of air, puffed perfectly, just purely delightful.  My preference is for the classic cheese soufflé with a close second to a rich chocolate or Grand Marnier (even a combination of the both).

Due to my love of French cooking I decided to honour the original and what I truly think is the best, a basic soufflé au fromage.  Rich, warm cheesy goodness, sinful decadence on a plate that ends up heading straight to the hips and ass (trust me, it seductively whispers these facts to you with every mouthful).  Served simply with a garden salad.  Pure flavour perfection.

Soufflé au Fromage (Cheese Soufflé)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Fluffy cheesey goodness best serve with a crisp green salad
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 60 gms butter
  • 60 gms plain four
  • 500 mls milk
  • 200 gms gruyère cheese - good quality grated
  • 6 eggs - separated
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 200?C. Butter a large soufflé dish.
  2. Melt butter in a heavy based saucepan over low heat and add flour. Stir the mixture with wooden spoon until it foams. Gradually add milk in small amounts. Keep stirring in between each addition and continue to stir until you end up with a smooth and thick roux.
  3. Add the cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the egg yolks.
  4. In a large bowl beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form. Then with a large metal spoon gently fold through a little of the cheese mixture. Once the small amount of cheese mixture has been incorporated add the rest of the cheese mixture and mix gently.
  5. Pour into the soufflé dish and smooth the top. Bake on the middle rack of your oven for 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 180?C and cook for another 25-30 minutes until well risen and golden brown.
  6. Serve immediately.

 

It is a rich recipe and I find serving it with salad lightens the meal.  Some crusty bread and butter (French of course) on the side would also go down really well.  The recipe I used actually comes from my Food Safari recipe book by Maeve O’Meara, the recipe itself is from Marie Helene Clauson.

I decided to make one large soufflé to be served at the table and shared by the tribe instead of individual ones.  I loved presenting it all puffed up and then with a large serving spoon digging in and serving it out to the waiting drooling mouths.  When you make this, just picture Maeve going, oooooo, ooooh, mmmmmm, this is sooooo good, because it truly is.  I know we were ooooing and ahhhing as we ate.

Bon Appétit
Sara
xxx

 

 

Belly Rumbles turns one

02 Nov
November 2, 2010

You found me!! Yay!! You can never be sure when you send out those change of address notices, Christmas cards sometimes take ages to find you ;p

Firstly, a big warm welcome to Belly Rumbles new home and happy blogiversary to me.  I really do hope you enjoy the new look and feel, and there is also an exciting change to Belly Rumbles which I will get to shortly.

I was chatting to Dad yesterday and I excitedly mentioned to him that Belly Rumbles turns one today.  He looked at me and stated “only one? it seems longer than that”  It is a rare occasion that I agree with my father (also probably my number one fan), but he was so right.  I can’t believe it is only a year, this blogging biz has been one hell of a ride.

A year ago today when I wrote my first post, not in my wildest thoughts or expectations, did I ever think it would open up a whole new world to me.  I have met some amazing people and have been invited to some pretty cool events.  Over the past year I have also personally pushed myself in my own cooking and learnt so much from others.  I really never expected this at all.

There is still some tweaking to be had with my new home, so please be patient with me.

I am introducing an easy to navigate recipe section (fingers crossed), which as new posts are written will take shape.  I will also slowly include my already posted recipes there as well.  You will also notice that generally navigation will be easier if you want to find something.

Another exciting development for Belly Rumbles is that Josh has come on board as a contributor.  The Josh Vs Food plans are coming to life now that HSC will be over by the end of this week.  He will also be contributing travel posts.  First ones will be from Fiji where he will be going for Schoolies at the end of November.  No it won’t be all drinking and debauchery, he has actually volunteered to build housing through a Christian program for a Fijian community for a week and then he gets to participate in the drinking and debauchery.   So stay tuned for his first post in due course.

For those of you who don’t know, <drum roll>,  Josh is my son.  Does this make Belly Rumbles the first mother and son food blog??  Hmmm, great, now I have visions of Maggie Beare (Ruth Cracknell) and Arthur Beare (Garry McDonald) from the long running Aussie sitcom Mother and Son dancing in my head.  Hopefully we will get along a lot better than they did and I don’t lose my marbles.

I have been quite of late and my apologies for that as I have been busy setting up the new home.  There is quite a large back log of posts I am desperately wanting to share with you.  Still posts to come from Iowa, Orlando, New York and Tokyo, my introduction to molecular gastronomy, projects in the kitchen, events I have been to, restaurants visited, even Josh’s 18th birthday hasn’t made it up yet, and then before you know it Christmas will be here.

I want to thank my fellow bloggers for their support over the past 12 months, you are an amazing bunch of dudes.  Also a big thank you to my friends and family for their patience while I stress at them not to touch their food while I try to take pictures as quickly as possible in order for the food to not go cold.

Last but not least, thank you to you, my dear readers.  You guys give me encouragement to continue writing and sharing my world.  I love reading your comments, comments make me smile and take me to a happy place.

Buckle up, get your seats in the ready position and please continue to join me on this food joy ride.

Sara xxx

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